Carbs are not the enemy! It may not seem like it—especially with the rise of popular low-carb diets, like keto—but eating carbs is an important macronutrient in one’s overall diet and can help you lose weight. The key is to focus on complex carbohydrates that will make you feel full, instead of simple, refined carbs that will leave you feeling hungrier and hungrier. That’s why we put together a list of how to eat carbs and still lose weight.

With these eight strategies in mind, you’ll not only be able to not only maintain those weight loss goals, but you’ll also put together a few delicious meals along the way. Enjoy pizza? Pasta? A slice of toast in the morning? You can have all of these tasty items on a regular basis. It’s all about what you pair those carbs with and the types of grains you choose to consume.

1. Throw on the toppings.

What’s the more diet-friendly pizza: plain cheese or supreme? The answer may surprise you. Turns out adding protein to your pizza can actually support your weight loss goals. That’s because rounding out a starchy meal with protein can reduce its Glycemic Index (GI), a measure of how quickly blood glucose levels rise in response to food with a measure of one to 100. Studies suggest the lower the score, the better for weight loss.

Complex carbohydrates like whole grains tend to score lower on the scale. But you can further lower a high-carb meal’s glycemic load—and feel fuller—by adding protein, which slows down digestion, keeping blood sugar steady. A simple cheese pizza, for example, has a GI of 80, while a fully loaded Supreme pie scores a 36. Adding fat to a meal has the same GI lowering effect, but it also adds far more calories; moreover, a study in The Journal of Nutrition found protein to be 3 times more effective at reducing glucose response than fat. Enjoy your favorite pizza and pasta dishes with lean protein toppings—and stay lean and mean yourself.

2. Add berries
Berry good news: Researchers say berries may slow the digestion and absorption of starch. A study in The Journal of Nutrition found eating 150 grams of strawberries (about a cup) with a 50-gram slice of white bread reduced the insulin response 36% more than the berry-less bread eaters. A mixture of strawberries, bilberries, cranberries, and black currants was even more effective, lowering the glycemic profile of the white bread by 38%. Study authors attribute the results to polyphenols in the berries, and it’s good news for you because research suggests a diet containing moderate amounts of low GI carbohydrates is particularly good for weight loss. So, who wants berries?

3. Drink green tea with it.

Washing down a high-carb meal with a soothing cup of green tea may be a good diet strategy, according to Penn State scientists. Their study, published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, found an antioxidant in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), when combined with carbohydrates, can help regulate hunger hormones and a healthy metabolism by lowering blood glucose. Mice fed EGCG and corn starch had a 50% greater reduction in blood sugar spikes compared to mice that were not fed the compound. The researchers say one and a half cups of green tea is enough to see the same benefits.

4. Add in some fat

Is butter a carb? No, but we think Regina George would like this tip. Researchers say enjoying your carb-fest with a moderate amount of monounsaturated fat—like the kind you find in olive oil and avocados—can help increase satiety and reduce overall calorie intake. But not just any fat will do.
A study in the journal Nature compared the satiating effects of bread served with olive oil (a monounsaturated fat) and bread served with butter (a saturated fat). Restaurant patrons in the olive oil group ate 23% less bread than the butter group.

And another study published in Nutrition Journal found similar satiating effects from the heart-healthy fat; participants who ate half a fresh avocado with lunch reported a 40% decreased desire to eat for hours afterward.

5. Eat it, don’t drink it
You’ll slash carbohydrates from your diet by choosing a fresh apple over an apple muffin, but you won’t entirely erase the carb count. Believe it or not, all fruits and vegetables include some carbs. In fact, one apple has 34 grams of carbs—more than you’ll find in two slices of whole wheat bread! And because juicing removes the satiating fiber from whole fruits, a cup of fruit juice can do more harm than good.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that people who consumed one or more servings of fruit juice each day increased their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 21%. And a second study in the journal Nature found liquid carbohydrates to be 17% less filling compared with solid carbohydrates. As a general rule: eat, don’t drink, your fruits.

6. Wait until dinner time.

The dietary boogeyman, nighttime carbs, has a frightening reputation among people trying to lose weight. But there’s actually a growing body of research to suggest breaking your “carb curfew” can actually help your diet goals.
One study in the journal Obesity put two groups of men on an identical weight loss diet. Half the group ate their carbs throughout the day; the other half ate the majority of the meal plan’s carbs in the evening. The result? The nighttime carb eaters lost 27% more body fat—and felt 13.7% fuller—than those on the standard diet. Moreover, inflammation markers in the nighttime group level decreased by 27.8% compared to only 5.8% in the standard dieters.

On the flip side, recent research has increased weight loss with linked low-carb, high-protein breakfasts. Consider swapping your morning bagel for an omelet and add a potato to your evening meal.

7. Choose resistant starches.

Strange but true: You can gain less weight from a serving of pasta simply by putting it in the fridge. The drop in temperature changes the nature of the noodles into something called “resistant starch,” meaning your body has to work harder to digest it. Cold pasta is closer in structure to natural resistant starches like lentils, peas, beans, and oatmeal, which pass through the small intestine intact, keeping you fuller, longer.
One study found that including resistant starch (brown beans) with an evening meal increased satiety hormones by 51% and suppressed hunger hormones by 15%, as compared to a meal that included a simple carbohydrate (white bread). You don’t have to resist carbs, just opt for the resistant ones!

8. Work out first.

Breaking a sweat before you break-your-fast could get you into your skinny jeans faster. Why? According to some studies, exercising in a fasted state—in other words, before breakfast—can burn almost 20% more fat compared to exercising with fuel in the tank.
Why? Once you consume calories, insulin levels rise, which, according to researchers, can suppress fat metabolism by up to 22%. Have a bowl of cereal, a Gatorade, or even a small cafe au lait, and your workout goes towards burning off that glycogen. But with nothing in your tank, the burn comes primarily from body fat.

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By Eat This

Crispy baked french fries with creamy guacamole and ketchup

The secrets to these incredible fries include a few of things, the main one being soaking the raw potatoes before you bake them to remove some of the excess starch.  Less starch = more crispiness. When it comes to slicing, I like to cut the fries to be a little thin; but not shoestring-style and not too thick.  About 1/4 inch wide.  To slice the potatoes, I slice the whole potato lengthwise and then slice each piece of the potato again into fries. After slicing, the potatoes get coated in olive oil, which helps the fries crisp up in the oven Parchment paper is key in keeping the fries from sticking and getting the best crisp on the outside while keeping a soft inside.  You could also use foil, but make sure you spray the foil with non-stick spray because you don’t want your fries to stick to the pan. Try not to crowd the fries on the pan and make sure they have a bit of space in between each other.  The less fries on the pan, the better.  Too many fries shoved together and they’ll just steam – not bake.  I can normally fit the fries from 3 potatoes on a 13×18-inch jelly roll pan. Finally, the last trick up my sleeve is my double baking method.  The fries are first baked in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then baked for another 20 minutes at 425 degrees. The second most important thing is the seasoning.  Whether it be plain sea salt or our spice blend, you’ve gotta have seasoning! To date, our favorite seasoning is a mixture of seasoned salt, black pepper, dried basil, cumin, and chili powder.  That seasoning mix makes these already addicting french fries even more irresistible!  To make the seasoning, combine 2 Tablespoons seasoned salt, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1/8 teaspoon cumin, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper per 3 potatoes. The seasoning goes on the potatoes both before and after baking. If you’re feeling fancy, you could also sprinkle some grated Parmesan on the fries after baking. The amount of potatoes you use depends on how many fries you want to make. If you’re baking for just yourself, I’d use 1 large potato.  If you’re making the fries as a side dish for a family of 4+, I’d use 1 medium size potato per person depending how hungry you are. Recipe * * 2 Tablespoons seasoned salt * 1 teaspoon chili powder * 1 teaspoon dried basil * 1/8 teaspoon cumin * 1/8 teaspoon black pepper For the Fries: * 3 medium russet potatoes (russet are the best choice for perfect crispy fries) * 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil * 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan (optional) Directions: * Combine seasoning ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. * Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut off the ends. With a very sharp knife, cut the potatoes into thin slices about 1/4 inch wide. * Add the fries to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes but they can soak for as long as overnight. (Place in the fridge if soaking more than an hour). * After the fries have soaked, drain, rinse, and lay the fries on a paper towel lined cooling rack to dry while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Blot the tops with additional paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. * Line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil and spray with non-stick spray. Make sure the previously used bowl is dry and add the potatoes to it, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil and 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon of the seasoning mixture based on how much salt you prefer. Toss around to mix. * Evenly line the baking pan with the fries in a single layer. Don’t overlap or they fries won’t cook properly. Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping with a spatula once or twice after 15 minutes of cooking. Increase heat to 425 degrees and continue baking until the edges look a little burnt! * Sprinkle the fries with the other half of the seasoning mix and Parmesan cheese (optional). Serve immediately. * Smash avocados mix with onions olives and olive oil plus butter

Source: @biancazapatka: layers of happiness

Vegan grilled cheese sandwich!

Ingredients 1tsp olive oil for frying 2 cloves garlic minced 3 cups fresh spinach roughly chopped, or sub frozen pinch of salt 2tbsp vegan cream cheese or homemade Grilled cheese sandwich 4 slices bread 1tbsp vegan butter or oil 1 cup vegan cheddar cheese or homemade instructions Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Then add the spinach and a pinch of salt, and saute for a further minute until just wilted. Transfer to a bowl, drain off any excess liquid then stir in the vegan cream cheese and another pinch of salt to taste. for the sandwich 1. clean the same skillet and heat to medium-high heat. 2. spread vegan butter or oil on one side of each bread slice. Once the pan is hot add 2 slices of bread , buttered side down. On each slice, spread some shredded cheese, the spinach cream filling, some more cheese (1/2 cup cheese per sandwich) and top with the other slice of bread buttered side up. 3. use a spatula to gently press down on the grilled cheese sandwich during frying. When the bottom bread is browned, flip the sandwich and cook until the other side is toasted too and the cheese is melted about 2-4 minutes per side. 4. serve warm and enjoy. Notes instead of store bought vegan cream cheese you can make cashew ricotta or almond ricotta

Source: @biancazapatka

Healthy Vegan Blondies

RECIPE (nutritional information below) 1 1/2 cup rolled oats (ground into flour) 2 tsp baking powder 1 banana (mashed) 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp almond butter 3 tbsp maple syrup 2 tbsp coconut sugar 3 tbsp vegan yogurt 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup dark chocolate chunks INSTRUCTIONS 1. Mix all wet ingredients + coconut sugar. Then add oat flour and baking powder and mix until just combined. 2. Fold in half of the chocolate chunks, then add the batter into a baking pan. 3. Top with the rest of the chocolate chunks and bake at 356°F (180°C) for 20-25 minutes. ENJOY! Yields 9 pieces each Cal:229/26C/5P/11F

Source: @biancazapatka

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